Chapter 3: the law of succession: death testate or intestate



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CHAPTER 3: THE LAW OF SUCCESSION:

DEATH TESTATE or INTESTATE

MATCHING

  1. succession

  2. testacy

  3. statutory will

  4. legacy and bequest

  5. escheat

  6. nuncupative will

  7. holographic will

  8. living will

  9. affinity

  10. consanguinity

1. One that is made orally



  1. The passage of an intestate decedent's property to the state when there are no surviving blood relatives or a spouse




  1. Related by blood through a common ancestor




  1. Related by marriage




  1. A fill-in-the-blank will that is created and authorized by statute in a few states




  1. A separate document that concerns the withholding or withdrawal of life support




  1. Replaced by the term devise under the UPC




  1. The act of acquiring property from a decedent by will or by operation of law when the person dies intestate

  1. One that is handwritten




  1. Death with a valid will

  1. ANS: F

  2. ANS: E

  3. ANS: J

  4. ANS: I

  5. ANS: C

  6. ANS: H

  7. ANS: D

  8. ANS: A

  9. ANS: G

  10. ANS: B


TRUE/FALSE

  1. States that allow holographic wills generally require that the wills also be signed by witnesses. ANS: F

False

Correct. Such wills might not even require dates.



True

Incorrect. Generally, such wills do not require witnesses.




  1. A living will states where the decedent wishes his/her children to be raised. ANS: F

False

Correct. A living will concerns decisions about life-sustaining treatment.



True

Incorrect. A living will concerns only the decedent.




  1. Abatement can cause the gifts made in a will to be reduced or even eliminated. ANS: T

True

Correct. Abatement is a proportional reduction of legacies and devises in a will.



False

Incorrect. Abatement involves paying the decedent’s taxes, debts, and expenses.




  1. If a person dies intestate, his or her property passes automatically to the state. ANS: F

False

Correct. Property generally goes to the nearest surviving kin.



True

Incorrect. Property passes to the state only if no heirs can be found.




  1. Common law computation is used to determine the degree of relationship between the decedent intestate and a potential heir.

ANS: T

True

Correct. It counts up to the decedent, and then back down to the heir.



False

Incorrect. It counts up to the decedent, and then back down to the heir.




  1. When a spouse dies intestate, the surviving spouse’s rights to the decedent spouse’s estate are determined by state statute and by which other family members survive the intestate.

ANS: T

True

Correct. When there is no will, state statutes determine the distribution of the estate.



False

Incorrect. The surviving spouse may be granted an elective share with other relatives getting the rest.




  1. In some states, if a person marries after making a will, the marriage revokes the will. ANS: T

True

Correct. Numerous states give the omitted spouse a share of the estate.



False

Incorrect. The majority of states allow a statutory forced share.




  1. A revocable living trust set up by a person for the benefit of his/her children from a prior marriage may be revoked by the second spouse upon the death of the person who set up the trust.

ANS: F

False

Correct. Such a trust is revocable only while the person is alive.



True

Incorrect. A revocable living trust becomes irrevocable upon death.




  1. Only the living, natural, marital children of a man or woman have a right to his/her estate upon death. ANS: F

False

Correct. Adopted, nonmarital, and posthumous children generally have the right to inherit.



True

Incorrect. Nonmarital, adopted, and posthumous children generally have the right to inherit.




  1. In some states, a homestead allowance may be granted in place of a homestead exemption. ANS: T

True

Correct. This allowance is not subject to creditors’ claims.



False

Incorrect. The homestead allowance is a priority payment to the surviving spouse and/or minor children.


MULTIPLE CHOICE

  1. Which is NOT a basic type of will?

    1. Joint will

    2. Holographic will

    3. Statutory will

    4. Living will ANS: D

Living will

Correct. This is a separate document governing the withholding or withdrawing of life-sustaining treatment.



Joint will

Incorrect. This is the will of two persons together (usually spouses).



Holographic will

Incorrect. This is a will written in the maker’s own handwriting.



Statutory will

Incorrect. This fulfills all of a state’s mandatory, formal requirements for a will.




  1. Which form of will is NOT made in writing?

    1. Statutory will

    2. Nuncupative will

    3. Living will

    4. Holographic will ANS: B Nuncupative will

Correct. This is an oral will, spoken in the presence of witnesses.

Statutory will

Incorrect. This fulfills all of a state’s mandatory, formal requirements for a will.



Living will

Incorrect. A living will is a written document.



Holographic will

Incorrect. A holographic will is written in the maker’s own handwriting.




  1. Which is a gift of a fixed amount of money from the assets of a testator’s estate?

    1. Specific legacy

    2. Residuary legacy

    3. Specific devise

    4. General legacy ANS: D

General legacy

Correct. It may also be derived from a source established in the estate by a calculated formula.



Specific legacy

Incorrect. This is a gift of a particular item or class of personal property in a will.



Residuary legacy

Incorrect. This is a gift of all the property not otherwise effectively disposed of.



Specific devise

Incorrect. This is a gift of real property in a will.




  1. If a decedent left three children and five grandchildren, two of whom are the sons of a deceased daughter, and the per stirpes method of distribution is used, how much of the decedent’s estate will the two children of the deceased daughter receive?

    1. One-eighth

    2. One-fifth

    3. None

    4. One-fourth ANS: A

One-eighth

Correct. Each child will get an equal share of what would have been received by their mother.



One-fifth

Incorrect. They would each get an equal share under per capita distribution.



None

Incorrect. They would have the right to their deceased mother’s share.



One-fourth

Incorrect. They would have to split their mother’s share.




  1. When a person dies intestate and has no spouse or children, the estate then goes to:

    1. Lineal ascendants

    2. Other lineal descendants

    3. Other next of kin

    4. The state ANS: B

Other lineal descendants

Correct. These include grandchildren and great-grandchildren.



Lineal ascendants

Incorrect. An intestate decedent’s estate goes to ascendants only if there are no descendants.



Other next of kin

Incorrect. Blood relatives who are not lineal or collateral relatives are usually last in the order of inheritance.



The state

Incorrect. Property is not awarded to the state unless no other relatives can be found.




  1. How long would a decedent and spouse have to be married for the surviving spouse to be entitled to an elective-share percentage of 50 percent of the augmented estate?

    1. 15 years

    2. 5 years

    3. 10 years

    4. 20 years ANS: A

15 years

Correct. After 15 or more years, the surviving spouse may claim 50 percent of the estate.



5 years

Incorrect. After 5 years, the surviving spouse may claim 15 percent.



10 years

Incorrect. After 10 years, the surviving spouse is entitled to 30 percent.



20 years

Incorrect. After 15 years, the surviving spouse is entitled to 50 percent.




  1. Which of the following is an advantage of a will?

    1. It eliminates complicated procedures

    2. The probate of a will is generally quick, easy, and inexpensive.

    3. It retains privacy and confidentiality about the decedent's property and beneficiaries.

    4. It allows a person to leave property to someone who would not be entitled to inherit under intestate succession

ANS: D

It allows a person to leave property to someone who would not be entitled to inherit under intestate succession.

Correct. This might include close friends or special employees.



It eliminates complicated procedures.

Incorrect. A will requires complicated procedures, such as those involved in transferring property ownership.



The probate of a will is generally quick, easy, and inexpensive.

Incorrect. Probate is time consuming and expensive and adds inconvenience to the decedent’s family.



It retains privacy and confidentiality about the decedent's property and beneficiaries.

Incorrect. Wills are filed in the county courthouse of the decedent's domiciliary state and are open to the public and the news media.




  1. In orthodox terminology, which of the following refers to the recipient of personal property, other than money, according to a will?

    1. Beneficiary

    2. Devisee

    3. Legatee

    4. Heir ANS: A Beneficiary

Correct. The term under UPC is devisee. Devisee

Incorrect. This is the UPC term for a beneficiary.



Legatee

Incorrect. A legatee is the recipient of money given under the terms of a will.



Heir

Incorrect. An heir is the recipient of property of a decedent who did not have a will.




  1. After execution of a will, the testator, by an intentional act of ademption, has the right to do all of the following EXCEPT:

    1. Add a beneficiary

    2. Revoke or cancel a testamentary gift

    3. Deliver the gift to the beneficiary before the testator’s death

    4. Substitute a different gift for the original one ANS: A

Add a beneficiary

Correct. Ademption is the removal or cancellation of a gift in a will, not an addition.



Revoke or cancel a testamentary gift

Incorrect. Ademption is the intentional act of revoking, recalling, or canceling a gift.



Deliver the gift to the beneficiary before the testator’s death

Incorrect. The testator may also give the gift to someone else, so it is no longer his/hers.



Substitute a different gift for the original one

Incorrect. Ademption gives the testator the right to substitute gifts.




  1. Which is NOT a general rule of distribution under most states’ intestate succession statutes?

    1. If an intestate decedent is survived by a spouse and children who are all born to the surviving spouse and decedent, the spouse receives a lump sum of money and/or a portion of the estate, and the children receive the remainder of the estate equally

    2. If an intestate decedent is survived by a spouse and children, some of whom are not the children of the surviving spouse, the spouse receives a lump sum of money and/or a portion of the estate, and only the children born to both the decedent and the surviving spouse receive the other half of the estate.

    3. If an intestate decedent has no surviving spouse or kindred relatives, the state receives the decedent’s property.

    4. If an intestate decedent has no surviving spouse or lineal descendants but is survived by a parent and other collateral relatives, the parent will receive the estate.

ANS: B

If an intestate decedent is survived by a spouse and children, some of whom are not the children of the surviving spouse, the spouse receives a lump sum of money and/or a portion of the estate, and only the children born to both the decedent and the surviving spouse receive the other half of the estate.

Correct. All the decedent’s children get an equal share of the estate.



If an intestate decedent is survived by a spouse and children who are all born to the surviving spouse and decedent, the spouse receives a lump sum of money and/or a portion of the estate, and the children receive the remainder of the estate equally.

Incorrect. This is a generally agreed-upon practice in most states.



If an intestate decedent has no surviving spouse or kindred relatives, the state receives the decedent’s property.

Incorrect. The state receives the property through escheat.



If an intestate decedent has no surviving spouse or lineal descendants but is survived by a parent and other collateral relatives, the parent will receive the estate.

Incorrect. The parent, as a lineal ascendant, is next in the order of degree of kindred relationship.

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